Every now and then I get a request for a book on Peter. I will sometimes refer these customers to the book by Oscar Cullmann, Peter: Disciple, Apostle, Martyr. Also good is Saint Peter: The Underestimated Apostle by Martin Hengel. I am less familiar with Catholic writings on Peter but I’ve recently read an excellent chapter on Peter in Called to Communion by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI). Coming this November I will have another book to recommend. It is Simon Peter in Scripture and Memory: The New Testament Apostle in the Early Church. Here is the catalog description:
After Jesus, Peter is the most frequently mentioned individual both in the Gospels and in the New Testament as a whole. He was the leading disciple, the “rock” on which Jesus would build his church. How can we know so little about this formative figure of the early church?
World-renowned New Testament scholar Markus Bockmuehl introduces the New Testament Peter by asking how first- and second-century sources may be understood through the prism of “living memory” among the disciples of the apostolic generation and the students of those disciples. He argues that early Christian memory of Peter underscores his central role as a bridge-building figure holding together the diversity of first-century Christianity. Drawing on more than a decade of research, Bockmuehl applies cutting-edge scholarship to the question of the history and traditions of this important but strangely elusive figure. Bockmuehl provides fresh insight into the biblical witness and early Christian tradition that New Testament students and professors will value.
Put this one on your Christmas list. Simon Peter in Scripture and Memory is from Baker Academic. It will be a paperback with 240 pages and sell for $24.99.